Summary: This is the 27th sermon in a series on the Gospel of John. In this sermon we discuss Jesus healing the man who was born blind, and how that displays the glory of God. We look at some misconceptions people might have about illness, and focus on God's sovereignty and purposes in all things.
Unsearchable Purposes, Unspeakable Glory! (John Part 27)
Text: John 9:1-3
I don’t know about you, but to me it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago when we started this series on John. It was the first Sunday of the year I think… and here we are now in the month of September, and we’ve come all the way to chapter nine. So maybe by the end of the year we’ll get to chapter 12… I don’t know… we’ll have to see. But like I said, we’re in chapter nine this morning… and I might camp on this passage for a few Sundays because I think there’s a lot to see here… and there’s a lot of misconceptions we can address, so we might just spend the next three Sundays here in John 9… So let’s go ahead and open up our Bibles and please follow along as I read the text this morning.
(READ John 9:1-3)
Now I have no idea what it feels like to be physically blind. I do know that when Gabby was little, we were told that she was legally blind. And it was obvious that she couldn’t see very well. She would sit super close to the TV… We’d ask her what color things were or what they looked like, and she couldn’t tell you unless she got really close to them. Thankfully; by God’s grace, her vision is almost 20/20 now with glasses or contacts. But for a while it was difficult for her. And it was really interesting when she finally got her glasses… She was surprised at how different the world looked. She was like, “Oh, that’s what that building looks like.” “That’s what painting is actually of.” She was able to see things as they were for the first time in her life.
The closest thing I’ve probably ever experienced to blindness was being in Alabaster Caverns when I was a kid, and the guide shut the lights out and you’re standing in pitch darkness. They don’t do that anymore by the way… which is kind of disappointing… but that’s about the closest thing I’ve experienced to what physical blindness would be like. And I’m always amazed at people who are blind… at what they’re able to do, and accomplish. It’s a testimony to the fact that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We’ve been given other sense that compensate and that make it possible to still be active and get around, and live.
But it’s not quite the same when it comes to spiritual blindness. You see; spiritual blindness isn’t the result of some injury, or genetic mutation, or a disease or sickness. It’s the result of being spiritually dead. And because of that… the person who is spiritually blind, doesn’t see the world in the same way you and I see it. To them, it’s ok to let people murder their children… they call it “choice”, and it’s normal to let men marry other men and women marry other women… and it’s normal to lie and cheat, and lust, and be immoral. To them, it’s just the way things are… they see things, but they don’t seem them correctly or rightly. They don’t seem them in light of the truth, or in light of righteousness and holiness, and moral uprightness.
Now to me, our text is interesting here because it starts out by saying that as Jesus passed by, He saw a blind man, who was blind from birth. Do you remember what just happened before this? Jesus had just rebuked the Judeans and Pharisees and they were going to try and kill Him. And I don’t know about you guys, but for me… if I had just escaped an angry mob that was trying to kill me, I don’t think I’d probably notice a blind dude sitting beside the temple gate… I think I’d probably be trying to get to a secure location where I could set up a defensive perimeter and regroup. And it’s not like this blind man was calling out to Jesus or anything like that either. He doesn’t see Jesus, He doesn’t ask for healing, or help… But Jesus notices him.
Jesus finds him. Jesus initiates the contact. He’s got an angry mob, just inside the temple that want Him dead. His disciples are probably confused and probably wondering what the heck just happened, but Jesus takes the time, to show concern and mercy, grace, and love to this man… and He’s going to also take the opportunity to teach His disciples something in this as well.
The idea from the text here is that Jesus sees this guy and points him out to His disciples… and they look at the guy and try to get theological.
Remember; Jesus had just told the Judeans and the Pharisees that He was the light of the world, and whoever followed Him would not walk in darkness… He had just told them they would die in their sins and their father was the devil. So the disciples are still thinking about all that, and they’re thinking, this guy’s walking in darkness.